The good news: Taitz is an incisive, funny writer. "In the 50's and 60's," she notes, "wives were—had to be—pie bakers, martini makers, June Cleavers (named, perhaps for her repressed anger)." The not-so-good news: Mothering Heights, a serio-comic pre-and post-partum polemic directed at the hordes of "expert" who have taken motherhood hostage, is often too precious for words.
It's tough to dispute Taitz's contention that baby workout tapes, baby workout classes and baby massage are idiotic. It's difficult not to share her rage at the pressure to ""stimulate baby to a fare-thee-well and to provide baby with homemade, hand-mashed delicacies; not to share her bewilderment at the conflicting advice handed out to mothers by the stroller load. But after a point, Mothering Heights, whose often repeated thesis is delivered with the subtlety of a slap in the face, becomes as exasperating as the books and experts it so appropriately assails. (Morrow, $20)